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BW Members Approve Product Descriptors Ballot

4/20/2010

BEST WESTERN MEMBER HOTELIERS APPROVE PRODUCT DESCRIPTORS BALLOT

PHOENIX (April 20, 2010) – Best Western owners last week passed a landmark ballot approving the rollout of a product descriptor program. This marketing strategy is part of the brand’s long-term commitment to enhance its image, ensure brand relevance and drive superior revenue to its hotels.

As the largest hotel chain in North America and the world, Best Western competes across the broad midscale market offering a wide variety of hotels. While continuing to operate as a single brand, Best Western will introduce three descriptors in the U.S. and Canada: Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier. The strategy, which will roll out to consumers in the first quarter in 2011, is designed to explain the various product experiences of its hotels and set guest expectations at the point of booking. Best Western Premier will be used to describe hotels with physical attributes similar to upper midscale hotels, Best Western Plus for the middle midscale and Best Western for the lower midscale.

“The success of this ballot speaks to the dedication of our owners and staff to moving the brand forward and also to Best Western’s unique democratic structure,” said Beth Campbell, Best Western Board Chair and owner of the Best Western Inn at Penticton in British Columbia. “Through our in-depth and transparent process of engaging our partners and hoteliers, we’re launching a strategy designed by the collective wisdom of our organization.”

To determine the need for a descriptor program, Best Western engaged expert consultants, interviewed its Worldwide Sales clients and surveyed 2,400 travelers who prefer midscale hotels, conducted 80 town hall meetings with the chain’s Member hoteliers, as well as conducted meetings with its Advisory Committees and Governors.

“The descriptor program will turn the diversity of our portfolio into the strength that it should be, and as part of our long-term strategy will ensure an increase in consumer confidence, in loyalty and will drive superior revenue to our hotels,” said President and CEO David Kong. “We’ve worked diligently over the past several years to improve our brand image. This work has included separating from over 500 hotels, implementing comprehensive training programs to improve customer care, re-launching our Best Western Rewards program, and introducing various design prototypes to attract quality hotels to join our system.”

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAl, INC.
Best Western International, INC is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* independently owned and operated member hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. An industry pioneer since 1946, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. World Vision is the charity of choice for Best Western in building the world's largest family, with our hotels and staff sponsoring children in need around the globe. Our partnerships with AAA®/CAA®, Michael Waltrip RacingTM and Harley-Davidson® help guests make the most of every trip. For the fastest way to a free night globally, join Best Western Rewards®. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.